We planted a bonsai tree
in high resolution
on this new year’s eve.
We maintained that we would chop it down
before it could chop us up
or grow bitter leaves.
We hid behind a dish of benefits
with friendship on the side
and a serving of cold casual.
We promised to not make promises
because we saw the beauty of endings
from our early beginnings.
Of course, we were just kidding ourselves.
Because there are little things we say
that swing from my mind to yours and back
and web them in a tangle we cannot undo with hesitant fingers.
Little things like the skin of your skull that I scratch
to find a roadmap to your buried childhood
laughter and the warmth of a brother not lost
in memory as far as everyone seems to think.
Little stories like when you learned to speak to cats
in a language which was as complex and simple
as a child’s gypsy imagination; a skill lost in acquiring
salary slips, bills, and other unnecessary grownup-ness.
Or the time when your aunt created perfect lokmas
and called them sparrow eggs to be fed to you
with uncanny affection; an unknown tenderness
still making you hunger for a taste of that past.
I have lived your first kiss and your first heartbreak.
I have explored secret moles and soft niches in your half-forgotten memories.
I have patterned constellations on your back and drawn your face with fingertips ignited by desire.
I have thrust my hand inside the ugliness and the gore and the beauty that is you.
And I have planted myself there with tender roots.
A bonsai tree.
A tree that knows the rules of containing.
A tree that knows the beauty of endings.
A tree that will not flinch
whether you reach for the watering pot
or the axe.